Two posts of interest on the Kerbala attack that killed high level US personnel there during a visit to the local government.
First hints of no-good came from Omar at Iraq The Model when he suspected it of being an 'inside job' due to the logistics and such involved. He also noted the irregularities of weapons, uniforms and the fact that 'vehicles do not make those driving them'. In other words US vehicles do not mean that the drivers of them are from the US.
The second, and one I enjoyed the most, was from Bill Roggio who looked at the problems of supply and attack type. He speculated that it typifies an attack from Imad Fayez Mugniyah and is similar to those he has pulled off previously. So I left the following comment there to help bring a bit of connectivity to things:
Cars stolen in the US have been tracked to Iraq and verified by the VIN of those vehicles. Late model vehicle types of those used by the US overseas have been the target for theft from the Gulf Coast and LA Basin areas. It is apparent that these are not chop-shop specials, but whole vehicles that are exiting via some means, possibly through crime cartels, and then shifted to the Middle East. Unraveling that entire chain is something that really does need to be done, but is not a high priority amongst law enforcement... or they are very quiet about it.A bit of clean-up on the HTML was necessary and all spelling errors and syntax left as-is.
Omar at ITM suspects the Kerbala attack to be an inside job, also.
There is an apparent conjunction between Transnational Terrorist operations involved with standard criminal syndicates and getting this larger picture in focus is very necessary, especially due to the Hezbollah operatives in the US that have been using similar contacts. Particularly worrying is the cooperation between FARC and Hezbollah in South America as FARC needs to operate amongst the various drug cartels, emerald gangs and drug kingpins in the region. Exactly how integrated Transnational Terrorists are with the criminal element is a large unknown, but they are not isolated networks. State based support can play a part in this, too, but the entire network is no longer dependent upon States.
So having Hezbollah spin-up a well integrated cell or set of cells, using distributed support and supplies is not unknown to that organization as that is how it operates in Lebanon, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela... and the US, apparently. In-filtering a few, select and skilled individuals is well within their capability and scope. al Qaeda, by being a smaller and more highly distributed system could do the same, but that requires some few individuals at distributed points to be pulled together and work together, which is not their standard mode of operation. They prefer the spin-up of indigenous cells, clean out any questionable individuals, give some nominal training and oversight and leave them to their own ends until a larger operation needs to happen, at which point they start bringing in external cells for surveillance, logistics and clean-up, allowing the local cell to suddenly gain those things to pull off the operation. That would more clearly have been seen in Karbala, but was not, as that would be far more people than a Hezbollah standard operation.
This sort of attack, as Mr. Roggio noted, was more indicative of such from Mugniyah and also note that this type of attack is more in the style of FARC and South American counter-police/military assassinations which Mugniyah had opportunity to learn during his stay in Argentina during the early 1990's. That is how the Transantional Terrorist network operates.... it is interesting to compare/contrast FARC military tactics used in South America to those of Hezbollah in the summer of 2006. Much of what was seen is better for a tropical climate with large amounts of vegetation than for the arid regions of Lebanon. That would, however, give him the necessary wide-ranging contacts to carry off something like this both from the criminal supply side and from the infiltration side in Karbala.
This is how the Transnational Terrorist network operates over time. It allows for the interconnection of multiple groups, the passing of skills and tactics between groups and for supply and organizational support POCs to be had across the entire network. While individual groups operate to their own goals, these groups do have a large element of sharing and can cross-coordinate so as to come to 'arrangements'. Further the criminal syndicates, such as those illegal gem and goods operations, along with the narcotics operations, cross-integrate inside their own networks outwards to a global basis. That is how Hezbollah *gets* grey market goods to mark-up for sale in the US: they use their terrorist contacts to find the suppliers and then, with their identities verified, are able to open up another conduit for the flow of goods through their own people.
Even if the major Nation State support was absolutely *removed* in the form of Iran, North Korea, Syria, China, Russia and nodding acceptance in the Malaysia and Indonesia areas, they would *still* have their separate individual and group contacts for supply of goods which would allow them to continue operations. Removing the Nation State support is necessary but not sufficient to the removal of Transnational Terrorism, its supporters and suppliers. No military organization or even ALL of them combined can do this. This requires a set of operations that the true, private operative concept can attack.
That should be one of the major Goals on the Global War on Terror.
And none dare speak it as it shows up the deficiencies of Nation States... and the power of the People of the United States, if we dare use it.